Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Your Cart (0)

Nine Teachings from Nine Yogis: The Essence of Bhagavat Dharma

Article of the Month - March 2015
Viewed 4461 times since 15th Mar, 2015
Long long ago, there ruled a king named Nimi who was renowned for performing big Vedic sacrifices. An additional benefit of such sacrifices was the company of wise and holy men who assembled during these events. The company of these holy men provided a valuable opportunity for satsang and for sadhakas to resolve their doubts and queries.

During one such sacrifice, nine spiritually charged men entered the sacrificial hall. As soon as he saw the saints, king Nimi got up and carrying some of the sacrificial fire, went forth to greet them. After the ceremonious welcome, he asked them to be seated comfortably. Seeing them conducive, the king, with folded hands, then asked them whether he could ask a few questions to satisfy his spiritual queries. On their approval, the king asked:

The First Question:

"Respected Saints! Please tell me what constitutes the highest good for human beings? How to achieve it? Indeed to gain even a few moments of satsang with exalted yogis like you is a great treasure. Also, we have heard a great deal about the ‘Bhagavat Dharma’- ‘The Dharma which pleases God', kindly inform us of the nature of this dharma and how we can follow it?"

To the king’s query, the first yogi replied: "The constant worship of the lotus feet of Bhagawan Krishna constitutes the highest good for humans and is the surest and safest means of ensuring protection from all fears. As for Bhagavad Dharma, it is the dharma spoken by God directly from his own mouth. The purpose of this dharma is that even simple, ignorant people can easily attain self-realization. The path of this dharma is so easy that even if one runs on it with his eyes closed he will not fall into the wrong way; i.e., one need not wait for too much knowledge before setting off on this path."

How to Constantly Be in Worship of God

"There are many popular stories about the birth and other lilas of God. One should listen to them. There are also prevalent many different names of God, each of which reminds us of His various qualities and lilas. One should leave all shame and constantly sing out these glorious names. The one who takes the pure vow of this devotion develops an ardent love for God, and the shoot of love sprouts forth from his heart. His heart melts with devotion. He understands that the five elements - akash, air, fire, water and earth, all are the body of God. Therefore, it is God Who is manifest in all forms. Realising this, whenever anything comes in front of him, whether it be living or non-living, he bows to them all with devotion, much as he does before God.


Mirabai Adorning Beloved Lord Krishna with a Garland


Like a person eating food finds himself gratified simultaneously in three ways with each morsel - satisfaction, nourishment and relief from hunger; similarly a bhakta, who has completely submitted himself to God, finds himself gratified simultaneously in three ways - love for God, realisation of God and vairagya (detatchment) towards everything other than God



Bhagavat Dharma: The Dharma Which Pleases God

"As for the Bhagavat Dharma, it merely means that whatever we do with our body, speech, mind, habit or ego, all such acts should be dedicated to God."

How to Dedicate Our Actions to God

We are all constantly taught by spiritual texts to offer or dedicate all our actions to God. However, the question remains as to how to practically carry out this injunction. Put in most simple terms, the nature of this dedication is as follows: Firstly we have to accept that everything is happening under the inspiration of God. This is our dedication: We are doing what He is making us do. Do not the actions performed by a servant following the instructions of his owner belong to his owner? When a soldier under a king wins a victory in battle, is it not said to be a victory of the king rather than of the soldier? Therefore, if we know that we are working under the instructions of God, then whatever we do is that of God. Therefore, offering of karma to God consists of two parts - first to see that it is God seated inside us Who is inspiring us to perform a particular karma and secondly to see that whatever results as the fruit of that karma will be enjoyed by God only.

Therefore, if we see the inspiration of God behind every karma and that whatever ensues as its fruit should go to God, if we understand these two things, then that karma has been offered to God. Now we will not be bound by that karma.

The Second Question:

The king, prompted by the first answer, now asked his second question: "Respected Yogi! Please describe to me the devotees of God who have attained the above mentioned qualities. What are the characteristics that distinguish them from ordinary people? How do they behave? How do they talk with others? What are their attributes which make them the beloved of God?

The Three Types of Devotees

The next of the nine yogis replied: "God is situated in every being equally. Therefore, the one who sees his own self as existing in all beings, and all beings as existing in himself, such a person belongs to the superior category of devotees.

"One who has affection towards God, friendly feelings towards His devotees, compassion for the ignorant and indifference towards those who have resentment towards God, such a person is in the medium category of devotees.

"The person who, believing God to be only in His idol, but not elsewhere, and so worships His idol with faith, but does not serve devotees of God or other creatures, such a person is an ordinary devotee."

Further Qualities of the Superior Bhakta

"Because his heart is so much absorbed in Bhagawan Vishnu, even though his sense objects receive their objects of enjoyment, the superior bhakta feels neither repulsion nor attraction towards any of these objects and looks upon the universe as the maya of Vishnu.

"This world constitutes of birth and death, hunger and thirst, fear and desire. These constantly torment and exhaust us. However, the superior devotee, who constantly keeps God in his remembrance, is neither deluded nor defeated by them.

"The devotee who is not affected at all by superiority complex on account of his high birth, actions or caste, is the one who is the beloved of God. He who does not entertain the notion of ‘mine' and ‘another’s’ in respect of his property, or even his own body, sees God equally in everything, is not agitated by any happening or incident, he is the one who is loved by God."

The Third Question:

The king asked: "You say that this world is a result of Vishnu maya. Please enlighten us on the nature of this maya, which deludes even the most powerful of creatures?"

The third yogi replied: "O King! The nature of Bhagawan’s maya is indescribable. It can only be gauged through its effects. Maya is the shakti through which God creates this world. (Why does He create the world?) So that the various beings can enjoy the different objects and also for the liberation of the embodied souls (jivas).

The Fourth Question:

"Getting beyond Bhagawan’s maya is extremely difficult for those who have not controlled their minds. Please tell me how those ignorant people, who still identify themselves with their bodies, can go beyond Bhagawan’s maya easily? "

The fourth yogi said: "A worldly person is ever caught in the binds of man-woman relationship etc. Such a person works hard to obtain sukha and keep away dukha. The first step for the person who wants to go beyond Bhagawan’s maya is to think about how his efforts often lead to opposite fruits than that he had set out to obtain. He gets dukha instead of sukha and all his efforts, instead of reducing dukha, only increase it day by day.

"However, it is extremely difficult to cross over this maya on one’s own. For this, one should take refuge with a guru who has realised the essence of the Vedas. The adept should serve the guru sincerely, and learn from the latter the means of obtaining Bhagavat Dharma. He should keep faith in the Vedic scriptures, but never denigrate the scriptures of others. He should purify his mind by pranayama, his speech through silence and karma by non-attachment. In addition, he should listen to the delightful stories of God and cultivate the company of bhaktas and find joy in mutual discussion with them on the various qualities of God.

"Thus learning the ways of Bhagavat Dharma, the bhakta gains through them the ways of loving devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana and easily crosses over maya which is otherwise very difficult to transcend."

The Fifth Question:

"Please propound to us the nature of the Supreme Soul Brahman, also known as Narayana (whom you just mentioned). Do the three terms (Supreme Soul (Paramatman), Brahman and Narayana), denote the same entity?"

The fifth yogi replied: "The Supreme Reality which is both the material and efficient cause of the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world is known as Narayana. But He, being eternal and beginningless is Himself uncaused. As Brahman, He persists as a witness in the three states, namely waking, dreaming and deep sleep. As Paramatman, He animates the body, senses, breath and the mind. The three constitute one and the same reality. "However, the Supreme Reality can never be gauged directly. It will be illuminated only in the hearts purified by the performance of karma yoga."

The Sixth Question:

"Dear Sir! Please describe to us the path of karma yoga, purified by which man quickly shakes off all karma and attains to the Supreme God"

The sixth yogi answered:

"There are three types of karma:

1). That enjoined by the Vedas (known as karma)

2). That prohibited by the Vedas (akarma)

3). Transgression of enjoined karma (vikarma)

"All these three types of karma can be known only through the Vedas and not decided by the limited human brain.

"The Vedas speak indirectly (paroksha). Actually, the Vedas enjoin us to do karma in order to liberate us from karma. Their purpose is not to tie us down to karma. Just like a child is tempted with a sweet in order to make him swallow a bitter medicine - the object being to restore the child’s health using the medicine and not the sweet thing he gets immediately after gulping down the medicine - so is way the Vedas operate.

"However the person who has still not controlled his senses, removed his avidya and become a jnani, if he gives up the performance of Vedic karma, he is actually indulging in vikarma and therefore moves from death to death.

"He who performs the karma prescribed in the Vedas, without attachment to their fruits and dedicates them to the Supreme Reality, such a person attains to the state in which karma or its fruits do not bind him. The promise of the fruits of karma are only meant to generate interest in the karma while the actual purpose is to liberate us from karma.

"For those who want their hearts to be purified fast, they should, in addition to the Vedic rites, perform bhakti towards Bhagawan Krishna. After being initiated by the guru, the adept should start worshipping God in whatever image of God he likes best.

"The method of such a worship is as follows: With a thoroughly clean state of the body, he should sit in front of the idol of God. He should perform internal cleansing through pranayama. He should armour himself by assigning the protection of various parts of his body to different deities (anga nyasa) and then perform puja with the various steps (upcharas).

"In this manner, whosoever worships the Supreme Reality is liberated from samsara before long."

The Seventh Question:

The king than asked: "Can you describe to us the concept of avatara and enumerate to us the actions taken by Bhagawan when He takes avatara?

The seventh yogi answered: "Dear King! Bhagwan Vishnu is a treasury of infinite qualities. It is but childish to think that one can count the immeasurable qualities of the Supreme Soul. It may be possible for one to count all the dust particles on the earth, but none can count the qualities of God.

"Avatara is like a staircase, a flight of steps. God descends the stairs so that we can realise the Supreme Reality Brahman. While we ascend these stairs, i.e. when we investigate into the details of avatara, we begin our journey to Brahman realization"

The Eighth Question:

"You have narrated to us the importance of bhakti. Can you tell us what is the fate of persons who do not worship Bhagawan Hari but rather cultivate material desires in their hearts?"

The eighth yogi replied: "The four varnas (castes) and the four ashramas, all have originated from the body of God. The one falling in varnashrama, if he neglects God, such a person falls down from his varnashrama status. Such people, being conceited fools, think of themselves as being very learned, and hence do not seek the guidance of elders regarding the correct performance of karma. Due to the dominance of rajoguna, such people are ruthless in their designs, lustful and revengeful like serpents. Such people laugh at the devotees of Bhagawan Vishnu.

"These people do not worship their elders but adore women instead. They live in houses which have been created by the cravings for conjugal pleasure. Their greatest pleasure is the intimate company of women. They perform yajnas without the proper distribution of dakshina.When they meet each other, such people boast of their achievements - women, children, property etc.

"They do not care to listen what the actual purport of the Vedas is, but interpret the Vedas suitably as sanctioning their desires (for women, wine etc.).

"Actually, we know that it is the natural tendency of creatures to indulge in intercourse and enjoy non vegetarian food and drink. Therefore, there is no need for the Vedas to enjoin us to these things for which we already have a tendency. The Vedas provide a check over this by allowing intercourse only with one’s married wife, eating meat only at the end of a sacrifice, and drinking wine in the Sautramani sacrifice ( and never otherwise). The real intention of the Vedic injunctions in these matters is to make a person abstain from them.

"The only fruit of wealth is dharma; because dharma leads to spiritual knowledge leading to supreme peace (moksha). But how unfortunate it is that people use their wealth for selfish household gains or fulfilment of physical desires and fail to see that their body is subject to the control of death, which cannot be avoided at any cost.

"Actually, if we go even to the subtler essence, we find that even in the Sautramani sacrifice, only the smelling of wine is laid down and no drinking of liquor is permitted. An animal is to be offered to the deities by touching (alabhan) it in sacrifices, but no killing for meat eating is allowed. Similarly, intercourse with one’s wife is to be indulged only for the purpose of procreation; marriage is not a licence for carnal indulgence. But people do not understand this pure course of their dharma.

"They are attached to their mortal body and its relatives. However, they resent the Supreme God who resides in these very bodies. Such people never find peace and their desire for karma is never satiated. Time (Kala) forever thwarts them for achieving their objectives. Consequently, the heat of suffering in their hearts is never quenched.

"Persons who look away from Bhagawan Krishna, even though they collect, with great efforts, a house, progeny, money etc, have to give them all up unwillingly and thus they fall down into dark depths of despair."

The Ninth and Final Question:

"We have heard that God takes on different forms in different yugas. Hence, He is worshipped differently in each of the yugas. Please explain to us the different methods by which God is worshipped during the various yugas.

The ninth yogi replied: "O King! In Satyuga, people worship God through meditation (dhyana). In Tretayuga, they worship God through the three Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda). In Dvapara yuga, He is worshipped using the Vedic and Tantric rites.

"In Kailyuga however, the means of worshipping God is through the chanting aloud (sankirtan) of the divine names of the dark skinned God (Krishna)."

With this summing up ended the discourse of the nine yogis which delighted king Nimi. He came forward with his family priests and duly worshipped the nine yogis. The king then started practicing the Bhagavata Dharma as propounded by the yogis and over time, attained to the highest state of moksha.


The story of the nine yogis occurs in detail in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, canto 11, chapters 2-5.


References & Further Reading:

Post a Comment
Post Review
Parcel received is brilliantly packed by your dispatch team. Excellent collection, beautiful Micro-art work. The items are exactly same as displayed. Hats-off to the collection team. The shiva linga Ring & Garuda pendant were superb. Its pleasure shopping every time. God bless your team with good energy to continue this Real collection work.
Badarinath, India
Jamavar arrived so quickly and is beautiful, thank you!
Your service is exceptional. I am very pleased with your professionalism.
Shambhu, USA
Statue rec'd & it is beautiful, thank you!
Fran, New Jersey
Very good collection. Once ordered previously I had received exactly what has been displayed on the website. Very honest and genuine. But there was little delay in delivery. Nice experience shopping in this website.
Badarinath, India
I’ve received my blue scarf and I am delighted. I am impressed by your professionalism. Thank you so much! I will place another order soon.
Celine, France
Received the consignment in time. Excellent service. I place on record your prompt service and excellent way the product was packed and sent. Kindly accept my appreciation and thanks for all those involved in this work. My prayers t the Almighty to continue the excellent service for the many more years to come. Long live EXOTIC INDIA and its employees
A very thorough and beautiful website and webstore. I have tried for several years to get this Bhagavad Gita Home Study Course from Arshavidya and have been unable. Was so pleased to find it in your store!
George Marshall
A big fan of Exotic India. Have been for years and years. I am always certain to find exactly what I am looking for in your merchandise.
John Dash, western New York, USA
I just got my order and it’s exactly as I hoped it would be!
Nancy, USA.
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Share with friends
Related Links
"This middle path lies in between extreme asceticism on one side, and extreme indulgence on the other…. When standing under a Ashok tree, tired and exhausted, she raised her right hand for seeking support of a branch of the tree…. The unique balance that defined his entire life was pre-determined in this duality….One day, in the palace garden he frightened his attendants…. He ate less and less till his diet reduced to a sesame seed, and himself, to a mere skeleton…. Seven days after the attainment of enlightenment gods sent food for breaking his fast…. However, he postponed his ‘nirvana’ for three months till he visited the places he had reminiscences of."
The Light That Enlightened Millions
(The life of Buddha in the popular mind)
"But to pull this statement out of context and give it as an advice for anyone is far from correct…. But how is one to recognise the guru? Obviously, he will be able to understand the difficulties of the disciples and clarify to them the meaning of the scriptures on the basis of logic and experience…. They will have to search in their own neighbourhood only….The guru chosen by him should be at least better than himself!…. Of course, if the ideal guru whose features have been enumerated in the beginning is available, then the sadhaka should immediately go and surrender to him…. It is just like going to another teacher for higher education, after completing the education in a school."
The Qualities of a Guru and How to Find One
"Who would not satisfy his wife who is but his better half?…. Later, he took a bath, performed pranayama and meditating silently on the pure, eternal light, repeated internally the Gayatri Mantra…. Once it so happened that goddess Lakshmi was out of Vaikuntha…. Despite being older, they always maintain the appearance of five-year olds…. Seeing the great saints he welcomed them with reverence…. It is never for one single purpose but to fulfil many functions at the same time…. He ensured for them a glorious death."
God’s Lila, Understanding the Collective Impact of Avatara
" Contrarily metaphysicians and theologians perceived his form as it manifested in the Upanishads and Puranas….The ‘Advaita’ philosophy also contends that the entire Creation is just the extension of One…. Dance illustrates one of the ever-first cosmic acts with which Shiva seems to have tamed violent motion and separated from it rhythm, moves that communicated emotions and states of mind – human mind and the cosmic, and disciplined and defined pace…. Unlike Vishnu who resorted to dance for accomplishing a contemplated objective, Shiva has been conceived more or less as a regular dancer performing for accomplishing an objective as also for pure aesthetic delight…. Unfurling locks of hair and his snakes floating into space portray the dynamics of the act."
Shiva, the Nataraja
"Here is a fragment from one of the most poignant episodes of Indian history…. This piece of history is from the Mahabharata…. She was dying with shame but inside, like a true kshatrani (woman of the warrior race), she was burning with anger…. I have heard that women who follow dharma were never brought before a public court….Greed is the destroyer of dharma. I do not desire a third boon…. Draupadi was as forgiving as mother earth herself…. Just then Arjuna saw his dear friend Bhagawan Krishna approaching him…. “Leave him, leave him. He is a brahmin and worthy of our worship. Their mother should not cry, like I have at the death of my children."
Analyzing the Eternal Dimensions of Dharma Through Itihasa (History)
"Only a certain fraction of this karma is chosen by God in order to form the blueprint of our next birth…. The fruit that one experiences in this birth is due to prarabdha and a portion of the present agami…. Similarly, a fish in the Ganga does not accrue punya because of always living in Ganga…. A good karma can be annulled by a bad karma and a bad one by a good one…. Sometimes we also hear that prarabdha cannot be got rid of. It has to be spent through…. Bhagawan Vyasa says that for the full result of the karma to manifest, three things are necessary…. Then how to understand the statement that prarabdha should unavoidably be experienced?"
Theory and Practice of Karma: Some Salient Features
"Actually, the one who worships Bhagwan Vishnu should get rich and the one who worships Shiva should become an avadhuta like Him…. Then he works hard again to acquire wealth. I render all his efforts futile…. However, Bhagawan Vishnu is not like that, it takes longer to please Him…. As a consequence, they later harassed the great God Himself…. On the seventh day, he bathed in the holy waters of Kedarnath and began to cut his head with an axe to offer into the fire…. The boy bowed respectfully before the demon and asked…. No one who commits sin against a great person can be safe and happy in this world."
Shiva and Vishnu: A Unique Aspect of Their Worship
"The Bhagavad Gita, while describing the qualities of a wise person says…. This verse is vividly illustrated in the story of king Rantideva occurring in the Srimad Bhagavatam…. He did not believe in hoarding, was above all attachments and was highly patient…. They were all trembling due to starvation and thirst….bowed to the dogs and their owner…. What I want is only this: That I be able to go and live in the hearts of all beings and undergo sufferings on their behalf, so that they may become free from all miseries."
An Example of Living Vedanta: The Story of King Rantideva
"Once as he was engaged in puja, a saint came to visit him….Like a true householder attached to his family, Gajendra sported in the water with his wives, children and friends…. Understanding that his end was imminent, they all slowly withdrew, till Gajendra was left alone…. If we reflect on it calmly, we will realise that there is no house in the world where the story of Gajendra does not play out…. The one who is careful towards the end is able to reform his death…. Gajendra’s hymn of praise is one of the greatest philosophical poems in the annals of world literature."
Moksha of Gajendra: Liberation by The Formless God
"Vyasa Ji explained through a story how it came to be that the Pandava's marriage with a single wife was in conformity with dharma….The gods, along with their king Indra, were sitting on the bank of a river when they saw a beautiful golden lotus floating on its waters…. Both were playing a game of dice…. On hearing Shiva’s words, Indra started shaking with fear… Without death, the burden on the earth becomes too much…. Her birth had the sanction of all the three Gods - Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu."
Devi Draupadi: Resolving the Paradox
"It concedes that for an orderly social life a division into four groups based on the principle of varnadharma is necessary…. Each individual sometimes acts in a sattvika manner while at other times he may act in rajasic or tamasic manner, which means that the manifestation of a particular guna depends on circumstances…. Though all the three gunas are present in everyone, different persons are driven to act differently…. The karma that I have to perform should depend on my inherent gunas and should have the ability to regulate these gunas…. There is no instant transition to moksha…. An individual has to make his way towards moksha only through worldly life."
Varnashrama Dharma: A Logical View
"Whenever he gets the time, he should go and live amongst people who have given up worldly life…. A wise person should serve his body and family only to the extent that is functionally necessary…. The person who lays claim on the surplus wealth is nothing but a thief…. He should share all objects of enjoyment with everyone, right down to dogs, sinners…. Such is the attachment to one’s wife….How despicable is this body, which if buried is going to become the food of worms, or excreta if eaten by animals….Since a son is to thus revere his elders even after their death, what to say that he is expected to serve them when they are alive…. The person wishing to follow the path of dharma should steer clear of the five forms of Adharma."
Narada Teaches Yuddhishtra a Householder’s Dharma
"We assume that our happiness is the result of an interaction with external objects…. Suppose that an individual is deprived of sleep and food and pleasurable objects for a long time and then all of them are simultaneously offered to him…. Actually, seeking the answer to this question is the most significant pursuit in life…. The veil comes up again and the duality returns…. In this background, we can now analyse the nature of dukha (grief)."
Ananda: Understanding the True Nature of Happiness
"The primary thrust in the Mahabharata is to teach us the nuances of dharma through the poignant love story…. I have full control over my mind, even then it is attracted towards you…. You think you are alone with your own self. But don’t you know that the all-knowing God dwells in every heart…. Those who have wives are the ones who have Lakshmi…. I tell you that truth is equal to studying all the Vedas and bathing in all the pilgrimages…. The immortal dialogue between Shakuntala and her husband is one of the greatest…."
Narrating Dharma - Story of Shakuntala in the Mahabharata
"She has always believed that this would redeem her of her distress….A coconut, otherwise an ordinary dried fruit or the source of edible, or at the most, beauty oil, has always been revered as an auspicious object effecting good and well-being and the food that gods most loved….The tree in the Buddhist tradition was later identified as Bodhi-tree, seated under which Buddha had attained Enlightenment….Body gestures and symptoms, signs, indications among others must have been the early man’s tools of communicating oneself and knowing and understanding the world around….Kirttimukha was initially conceived as a mystical mask….Lion does not figure in the wide range of animal toys or figurines excavated from Indus sites."
Auspicious Symbols in Indian tradition
Show More
TRUSTe online privacy certification
All rights reserved. Copyright 2016 © Exotic India